continued from here part 1
70 miles outside Ark Central
Akio sat in the first truck across from Pike making notes on any outstanding features in the landscape as Pike searched through the on board computer for a music program. He looked over to Akio, "You don't talk much do you?"
Akio looked over, "Sorry, its just a lot to take in. I've never been out of the Ark before."
Pike raised an eye brow, "Not even in a suit."
He shook his head, "I was told only sixers did that."
Pike chuckled, "Well sixers have to make their own fun, no fancy shrink shops in Ark 6."
Akio gave him an uncomfortable look, "My father used to take me to Pym's adventures when I was young. The toy car track was my favorite."
Pike nodded, "I went on that once while we were guarding Ed Richards while he had some conference in Ark 12, cushiest job I ever had. You guys in 12 know how to treat a guest right."
In truck 2 Rhodes was playing music that would have been considered old before Earth fall, Frank did his best to ignore it but Janet seemed to enjoy it, "What is this song called?"
Rhodes turned it down a bit, "Ring of Fire, its Johnny Cash."
Janet gave a blank look as Rhodes shook her head, "No one respects the classics anymore."
Frank chimed in, "I've heard it before, My great grandmother was a fan."
In truck 3 Jack and Marcus sat in uncomfortable silence. Marcus broke it finally,"Any chance we'll run across the Eighth city?"
Jack shook his head, "Its a myth."
Marcus nodded, "Maybe, but Black Bolt and the Inhumans were real, there's a chance they may have escaped Earth too."
Jack shrugged, "Tell you what, you let me know if you see it, I'll keep an eye out for Santa on this side."
Marcus laughed a bit, "So you do have a sense of humor."
Marcus then nudged him, "Check out that gorge."
Jack nodded as he pulled up the comm, "We're pulling over, Summers, Richards get your gear together."
Jack and Marcus were at the bottom of the gorge testing the water in a river found there to see if it was safe to plant fish in. Pike looked down was a grin, "Almost poetic, Stark and grim at the bottom of the gorge."
Akio then pointed out, "It actually seems quite nice."
He then noted the looks the group gave him, "Oh, because their names are...."
Pike chuckled, "We're gonna have a lot of fun with you kid."
The comm then lit up, "Drop the fish it should be safe here for them but we might want to make it fast."
As the rest of the group arrived at the bottom they noted the nervous expression on Jack and Marcus. Rhodes came over, "What's the problem?"
Marcus nodded toward a machine a few yards from them, "That's skrull tech."
All but Akio went silent, "Is that bad?"
Jack looked back, "Aside from the Brood those are the last aliens a human would want to meet. Lets do our work quick. Marcus, send a message...."
They released the fish as quickly as possible and dropped a monitor float in the water to keep tabs on them and quickly made it back to the top of the gorge. As they reloaded the trucks Pike looked out on the gorge, "Shouldn't we like name it?"
Marcus looked over, "Name what?"
Pike pointed to the gorge and Marcus took out a device and spoke into it, "Fine, Jarvis, map the area and mark it Pike's gorge. That work for you?"
Pike smiled brightly, "I like the sound of that."
Jack looked over to Marcus, "You're going to get some trouble for that."
"Starks have quite enough crap named after us already."
"No argument here."
Ark city 2
Marcus' Grandfather Harold Stark sat in his office going over reports when his assistant came in, "Marcus reported they've just had their first successful transplant in what he's dubbed Pike's gorge, we can change the name if you'd like."
"Actually I'd prefer if you damn people would quit naming s**t after me, there are already 14 Stark streets, its goddamned confusing. Was there anything else?"
The assistant nodded, "They seem to have discovered a piece of Skrull machinery."
"And you led with a damned gorge name?! Christ we've been in this ark too long."
The assistant looked nervous,"I'm.. sorry, I..."
"Get Ark 1 and patch it through to my office."
Out side the cities the group came upon a mountain chain and started planting mountain goats to start, Marcus looked to Akio,"What's your last name kid?"
"Jarvis, designate, Mt. Hokama."
He then handed off the device to Pike, "There, your new job is naming stuff. But don't put your name on everything, trust me it gets old fast."
He then looked to Rhodes, "Any signs of Skrull need to be reported immediately. They're shape-shifters so if you see anything that doesn't look quite right scan it."
Harold Stark's office
"What do you mean, complicated?"
The man on the monitor, named Arnold Richards showed a holographic model, "The universe has changed since we left Earth, there was a vast uptake in empire building and now we're just kind of caught in the middle. There are currently four alien empires technically surrounding our solar system, at least two of them are definitely hostile.
We have been attempting diplomacy with all four but thus far only the Kree and Shi'ar have been willing to talk."
Harold put his head in his hands, "Who are the other two?"
Arnold dropped in his chair, "The Skrull and Badoon, luckily thus far they're more interested in fighting each other but our military experts have all agreed that we are sitting on top of probably the most strategically useful spot for all of them."
Harold sighed, "We're keeping a lid on this?"
"Of course, but this discovery isn't exactly good news."
(To be continued)